In thinking about this project, I would like to do something that would be beneficial to me as a GTA and to my students in the future. As an English major, I’ve dealt with MLA citing and format for all of my academic career. In spite of this, I still need to refer to PurdueOWL almost every time I do citing of some sort, just to be sure that I remember correctly. I am currently sympathizing for my students because these nearly all of these freshmen are going into STEM fields—fields that do not use MLA formatting—and are being required in most English classes to use MLA format. After they leave this environment, most of these students won’t ever interact with MLA again, so effectively, they’re being required to learn in for one or maybe two semesters, and that’s that. And so far, I see they’re confused on how to correctly cite and format according MLA guidelines.
As a GTA, teaching students about plagiarism is part of my job. I also think that teaching them MLA citing and formatting should be part of my job as well. Thinking back to the beginnings of my college education, I only remember instructors telling students to buy an MLA formatting guide and figure it out ourselves. Ok thanks. Very helpful. Inevitably, I’d run into a source that seemed unprecedented as far as previous citing went and would nervously try to format it myself, hoping that I wouldn’t get in trouble for doing it wrong. I don’t want my students to feel this way.
So for this project, I’m thinking about making lessons for these two concepts that I’ll divide into different days: plagiarism and correct MLA citing. By means of Google Slides and a lesson plan, I’ll compile definitions and activities to make sure my students know what academic integrity at Virginia Tech is (because they should be familiar with the institution’s definitions/do they take the time to read the Honor Code?) I will also create a MLA Citation Guide, including popular sources that students may choose to cite and go over any questions my students have on citing. In all actuality, this project will be a large PowerPoint-like presentation on plagiarism and correct citation for my students that draws from my own personal experience of not having my instructors specifically lay down what they wanted us to know as freshman entering the academic world characterized by academic integrity.
Butterworth, Natalie M. “MLA Citation.” MemeCenter. n.d., accessed 11 March 2017.